Part of what makes successful personal branding photography is understanding exactly what and how your images are communicating.

Earlier this year I wrote a piece about three things your branding photography should aspire to – a more theoretical look at the importance of creating genuine and consistent images.

In this post I’m going to pin down the practicalities and outline the key elements you need to understand to communicate effectively with your images and have the most successful personal branding shoot possible.

Who is your ideal client?

You’ll have heard this many times before but it is so important to know who your ideal client is. And I’m not talking about some vague notion based around their profession and business size. You need to get into the detail.

Cover the obvious things first – profession, industry, age, gender, location – to give you a framework and fine-tune from there.

What are they most likely doing in their spare time? Who are they going to be following on Instagram? How do they dress / what is their fashion style? Are they organised? Are they tech-savvy? Do they work well with others?

The questions are endless but the goal is the same: to know your ideal client as well as you know yourself. The clearer that picture is in your mind, the easier it will be to understand what kind of image content will connect best with them.

What exactly are you saying?

Social media is saturated with content. Being clear and consistent in your message is one way to help you (gradually) stand out from the noise.

What is it you are trying to say to your ideal client?

Are you looking to fix a common problem they are likely to encounter in their business? Or are you offering more specialist help to tackle unique situations? Perhaps it is free advice and support? Are you looking to educate rather than problem-solve? Is it an invitation to join your team?

Determine exactly what you are trying to say to your client before you try to say it and consider how you can use personal branding photography to communicate that message more quickly and clearly.

Speak their language

Once you know who you speaking to and what it is you want to say, you now need to say it – but remember to speak your client’s language!

Should the images you use to communicate your message be formal or informal? Serious? Uplifting? Funny?

Your images should reflect your own values but they should also intend to evoke some kind of emotion from your audience.

Knowing in advance what type of reaction you are looking to get will not only help you better understand the type of images you want from your shoot – which in turn will help when creating a shot list – but also enable you to input on conversations about, for example, the style of the editing you prefer.


If this was helpful then check out my other blog posts on personal branding shoots for further advice and tips. Or you can sign up to my newsletter using the sign-up form in the footer below and receive an exclusive discount off your first shoot!